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Fun in the Sun Until the Gun

Updated on April 23, 2017
Dean Traylor profile image

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher. He is a former journalist who has worked on various community and college publications.

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Fun in the sun
until somebody whips out a gun.
Shots fired
and everybody's on the run.

My cousin gets shot,
a good kid who never even touched pot!
(Just in the wrong place, wrong time).
I'll miss him a lot.

Another bullet rips my spine
and I fall below a stop sign.
I know I won't walk,
and this is worse than dying!

The Unfortunate Inspiration

There's not one single inspiration for this poem. There are many.

I work as a teacher in a school that can be considered "urban." Sometimes, my students will either tell me stories or I may overhear them talking to their peers about what happened to a cousins, brothers,sisters, father, mother or other family members. And what happens is never pretty by any stretch of the imagination.

Sometimes, the stories they tell make it on the front page of the local newspapers or in the evening news. Over the years, some of these stories are ingrained into my consciousness, because too many times these stories repeat themselves.

I don't know how many times I've heard a student mention that his or her cousin was gunned down while sitting on a porch, or that rival gangsters were roaming the streets peppering their rivals for some unspecific reason.

Sometimes, it feels as if murder, mayhem, and a destruction are the norms in this area. In truth, these are kids caught up in a terrible existence on the streets. They want something fun and safe, but that doesn't always happen. In some cases, it rarely happens.

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© 2016 Dean Traylor

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